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DHS S&T Seeks Public Input on Using Drones for Emergency Response, Law Enforcement

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The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is looking for public feedback on the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for emergency response applications.

DHS S&T said in a Federal Register notice posted Tuesday that it seeks to collect information on the public’s perception of agencies using unmanned platforms for law enforcement as well as firefighting operations and emergency medical missions.

Respondents must report their knowledge of UAS technologies as well as their “general attitudes” over their use for government applications including search-and-rescue missions.

The directorate also requires respondents to “evaluate the effectiveness of different test messages” that DHS issued to disseminate information on drone use to the public.

According to the notice, first responders have used UAS platforms to locate missing individuals, conduct relief operations, identify high-risk areas in emergency events and prevent exposure of law enforcement personnel in shooting events.

DHS S&T will accept comments through July 9.